Tag: Eric Asimov

Dec 12 2010

Argentine Malbec: The World’s Best Value Red Wine?!

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Wine Spectator recently released its Top 100 Wines for the year. Argentina was well represented with five wines (Australia had six), and all of the Argentine wines were malbecs, mainly from the Mendoza region at the foothills of the Andes in Argentina.

According to the Wine Spectator’s wine critic Matt Kramer: “There is no greater value in red wine anywhere in the world today than Argentine malbec.” (Augustus Weed, 2010 New World Wine Experience: Miraculous Malbec, The Wine Spectator, 1 November 2010).  Of the five Argentine wines in the Top 100, only the Trapiche Mendoza Vina Fausto Orellana de Escobar 2007 (rrp $US48) was more than $US25.

Malbec is one of the accepted varieties in Bordeaux. The Cahors region in south-west France was granted appellation controlee status in 1971. Due to the ravaging effects of phylloxera and changing tastes, until recently malbec plantings in Cahors were in decline. But perhaps spurred on by the export success of the variety in Argentina, some outstanding producers are now making fine examples of this big, rich and darkly coloured ‘black’ wine.

The spotlight, however, is on Argentine Malbec. Here the variety thrives in the high altitude and semi-desert landscapes of Mendoza and the surrounding regions. One of the wines in the Top 100, the Bodega Colomé Malbec 2008 (ranked 66th), from the Calchaqui Valley of the Salta province, holds the record for the world’s highest vineyard at 3000 metres!

The combination of high altitude, long days of bright sunshine and the warm, dry La Zonda winds, which bring warmth to the high altitude vines, produce vivid fruit of intense flavours, good acidity and fine tannins. Many of the better wines are made from 100 plus year old vines.

In contrast, French malbec is subject to a shorter growing season, which produces less ripe grapes and more austere (leaner and greener) and structured wines with more minerality. In fact, the Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth argues “there are few cases where so stark a distinction can be drawn between New World and Old World wines made from the same grape.”.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2010

Champagne: Highlights from a Memorable Tasting!

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Talking about a recent dinner at El Bulli, possibly the most famous restaurant on the planet, Eric Asimov, wine writer for New York Times, said, “I would have stuck happily with Champagne throughout the meal. Not ordinary Champagne either, but superb, hard-to-find bottles like Selosse Brut Initiale, which retails for about $US125 but was on the list for $US165, or Jérôme Prévost for $US140, or maybe both.” El Bulli and a Meal for the Ages by Eric Asimov, The New York Times, 21 September 2010.

Too often we don’t think of having Champagne with a meal… [Read More]

Sep 09 2010

Weekend Wine Reading

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Looking for a few interesting wine-related articles to read over the weekend?

I’m always on the look out for wine news and wine related information posted on the web.  Many experts, professional and lay, are now writing about wine on a regular basis, and sometimes the plethora of information available can seem a bit overwhelming!

Hopefully my posts are giving you a bit of guide about what’s available, so you can create or edit your own bookmarks of favourite sources.

Here’s a few not-to-miss articles for this week:

If you’re dreaming about making a booking at one the most famous restaurants on the planet,.. [Read More]

Sep 09 2010

Australian Cabernet: A Worthy Contender to Shiraz’s Crown!

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Campbell Mattinson, the well respected wine critic and a principal author of the popular wine blog The Wine Front, remarked in a recent post, Notes from a cabernet masterclass Tuesday, Aug 10 2010, that “when we talk of what Australian wine does best we invariably mention shiraz first, semillon second, chardonnay or riesling third and then cabernet or pinot noir.” In his opinion, a recent Dan Murphy’s cabernet masterclass, which included stars such as Mount Mary, Cullen, Yeringberg, Balnaves, Wantirna Estate, Petaluma, Yarra Yering, Voyager Estate and Moss Wood,.. [Read More]